The Dragon Slayer, Viking Warriors #2, Now Available for Pre-order!

Okay, okay, I had the release date for Viking Warriors Book #2, The Dragon Slayer, totally wrong. It actually releases on June 13, 2017, but you can pre-order it now by clicking on the cover.

Be forewarned – I must apologize to anyone who pre-orders The Dragon Slayer as there is a glaring error, which I didn’t catch in the Author Notes. The error will be corrected once the book goes live, but I’m horribly embarrassed that I didn’t catch this mistake. It’s in the last line of the author notes, where I give the date that William invaded England as 1065 instead of – as everyone and myself even more so knows should be – September 28, 1066. My bad.

This version of The Dragon Slayer is more than twice the length of the previously published novella coming in at 166 pages versus 64. Here’s the cover, tag line, and a short excerpt:

To save her sister Catriona must kill her new husband, Ruard, the Viking warrior known as The Dragon Slayer.

Excerpt from The Dragon Slayer:

Dunsmuir Castle, Scottish and Northumbrian Border AD 1029
Ruard’s first sight of Dunsmuir Castle, the new holding awarded to him by King Canute of Britain for his years of service, near blinded him with pride. ’Twas an enormous and magnificent holding; four stone towers, defense walls nigh a score ells high, and a forged drawbridge wide enough to accommodate four steeds simultaneously.

An iron bridge could not be fired.

Few strongholds boasted such richness of defense.

He estimated the distance between the two guard towers facing him to be half-a-dozen furlongs in length. His chest swelled with gratification. All the battles and the wounds and scars had been worth this splendid reward.

“A fine holding,” Njal, Ruard’s second-oldest brother, reined his ebony destrier, Veðr, to a halt beside him. Veðr, so named as the steed was swift and fierce as a gale, stamped a foreleg and snuffled billowy puffs. “Stone, not wood. ’Tis unusual in this land. ’Twill be difficult for an enemy to seize.”

A satisfied grin curled Ruard’s lips. Aye, King Canute’s recompense went beyond his wildest expectations. In the dawn’s gloaming the faint rays of the sun winked silvery ribbon streams over the rippling waters of the wide moat fronting the castle’s walls.

Sluggish movement to the right of the woods captured Ruard’s attention.

He frowned at the shadowy outlines of foot, horse, and cart traffic lining the path leading to the castle’s gatehouse. His jaw went slack when he realized that the drawbridge had been lowered afore dawn fully broke. “By Loki’s toes, what madness is this?”

“Mayhap ’tis market day?” Njal offered the excuse for the unusual pre-dawn activity and the vulnerability of the keep.

“The drawbridge is down and ’tis not yet dawn. I will punish the fool who ordered this idiocy.” Ruard had participated in numerous castle seizures and knew well that twilight and an open drawbridge left a demesne defenseless.

“By Loki’s toes. Look anon, brother. See you guards at the gatehouse? Or on the towers?” Njal stabbed a finger at each structure in turn.

Ruard stared at the ramparts and peered ’tween the crenellations.

Not a single warrior could he spy on either side of the drawbridge. No armed men prowled the bastions. Worse, assorted carts drawn by mules and, in one case, by two men hauling ropes, clanged over the metal planks, and none challenged them entry.

“Somewhat is amiss.” Ruard studied the wide ramparts near the East tower, and spied a couple of scraggly-clad men conferring with each other, their spears loosely clutched in their arms. None of his warriors would dare be so lax while on duty.

“Aye. Earl Duggal is only dead a moon past. Did not King Canute say he had a cadre of o’er fifty warriors? Where are they now? Why is your keep wide open and nigh completely undefended? I like this not, brother. This screams of bait and ambush.”


Scalling Castle, Carlisle
Catriona examined her reflection in the small mirror attached to her chamber’s wall. Her hair was secured in tight braids to the side of her head. Around her neck she wore the gold locket she had inherited from her mother.

How she wished Mama was still alive to guide her tonight.

Or Papa to counsel her.

But Mama had trained her from birth to her ten and sixth year, and she would do her proud this eve.

Composed and determined, she threaded her way to the staircase connecting the third floor to the great hall. As she descended, Catriona scanned the enormous chamber and noted Sir Rolf speaking with three men dressed in the raiments of the nobility, two of them attired alike in green doublets, gray hose, and knee-high boots. The other knight looked up and met her gaze when she reached the first landing.

She held her breath, stunned by the warrior’s handsome countenance, his inky curls, the noble slope of his broad forehead, his perfectly arched sable brows, the stormy blue of his eyes, and the sensuous pout of his ruby lips. Dressed in the finest navy velvet doublet and matching hose, he brought to mind all the stories she had heard of noble knights who rescued damsels in distress. Then his lip curled, and he raked his glance from her slippered feet to the wisps escaping her braids. Nervous, she smoothed a hand over her hair and missed the edge of the step. Panicked, she grabbed the bannister and righted herself.

The alluring knight’s mouth hitched at the corners into a full sneer.

She felt the veriest country bumpkin in her plain gown and worn slippers.

He eyed her with disdainful contempt.

What had she done to earn his displeasure?

And who was he?

“Ah, Lady Catriona.” Sir Rolf, Scalling Castle’s Captain of the Guards, rushed to her side and assisted her down the last few steps. She placed her hand on his forearm, and he escorted her to the three waiting gentlemen. She curtsied, keeping her gaze on their dusty and scuffed boots. “My lords.”

When she stood, one of the knights dressed in green executed a courtier’s low bow. “Lady Catriona, I am Captain DeGrecy, ordered to your side by the King Máel Coluim’s command.”

“My step-uncle received the message of my father’s death?” Catriona blurted. A lash of fiery heat scalded her cheeks at her blunder. By all dictates, she should have greeted the other two men first before daring her question.

“The king was most distressed to hear the news of his step-brother’s demise. Permit me, milady, I am Lord Ulfric, son of the Earl of Tees, commanded by King Canute to accompany you to Dunsmuir Castle to witness your marriage to the newly knighted Norseman, Lord Ruard.”

She was to marry?

A Norseman? A Viking? A marauder?

Hope you enjoyed!

Have a fabulous Friday!



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